News

Latest news items appear first on our Home Page. We welcome submissions of news stories or information on Harbour issues. Please email the website editor: webmaster@shra.co.uk

12 Sep - George Gatland - SHRA is very sorry to learn of the death of South Harbour resident George Gatland following a period of ill-health. George was chairman of the Dominica Court Residents Association for a number of years and his work for the association, as well as his own personal contributions, made Dominica Court a better place to live. Every Spring, when the bulbs he planted bloom again, George will be remembered.

10 Sept - Polyphony Vocal Ensemble Recruitment - Love singing close harmony music of varied genre? Read music? Still seeking the right choir? Don't miss this chance to join us, act now. For more details please click here to read our recruitment poster, or visit our website at: www.sovereignpolyphony.com

10 Sept - Waste Water Treatment Works Odours - over 40 complaints - SHRA wrote to Southern Water about the smells coming from the water treatment works. Here is their response.

"Thank you for your email received on 23 August 2019, in relation to your concerns about odours at our Eastbourne Wastewater Treatment Works. I confirm we are aware of the odours from our Eastbourne Wastewater Treatment Works, as we have received 40 complaints regarding this issue within the past 12 months. Because of this, we have been carrying out investigations, which are still currently ongoing.

During our investigations, we determined a major source of the odour was due to the failure of one of our chemical storage tanks in July 2018. This meant we had to run on a temporary dosing system until May 2019. Historically, odours have only been measured out of the stack, but we have now installed a new monitoring system on site which enables us to monitor odours at an additional 5 locations around our site. This will help us determine whether odour is still being released elsewhere.

This system is due to remain on site for a further 12 months, to allow us to build a greater understanding of any odour releases. Once we have collected more information from this monitoring system, we will deal with any odour concerns accordingly."

Southern Water have said that complaints about the odour should be made to them on 0330 303 0368, so that any potential issues can be systematically logged, investigated and followed up on, including going back to the person who complained with an explanation. If you make a complaint, please also let SHRA know by email to: info@shra.co.uk

10 Sep - Southern Water - Power loss and pollution - SHRA also wrote to Southern Water about the loss of electricity supply to the water treatment works on the night of 27th/28th July that led to untreated waste water being released into the sea for several hours. Southern Water are still finalising their report into the incident; they have invited SHRA and the local councillors to a briefing on the matter in late November.

04 Sept - Resignation from SHT Board - South Harbour resident and former SHRA chair, Rick Runalls, has resigned from the board of the Sovereign Harbour Trust CIC for personal reasons. Rick was one of three Harbour residents serving on the board.

04 Sept - Macauley Place (Site 7c): (See 27 August entry below) Our thanks to Jan Weeks, SHRA's former chair for pointing out that the Section 106 agreement covering Macauley Place states that no more than 40% (not 60%) of the new dwellings may be occupied until the public open space has been completed. And also, that the developer does have to provide play equipment. We are seeking a meeting with the EBC planning officials to discuss.

27 August - Response to SHRA's letter to local councillors - following our letter of 26 July to local councillors that raised a number of issues, a meeting was arranged with them resulting in the following updates....

Community Centre: The target date for opening is Sept 1st. The reason for the delay were difficult to establish as the building was handed over to Wave Leisure who is responsible for its management. It is unclear whether any conditions had been put in place on either the builders or Wave Leisure to ensure that the building was opened in a timely way. The councillors felt that the council needed to learn lesson from the experience. The 1st of September is a Sunday :-(

Amount of garden fencing around the water feature: Council officers had investigated this fully and had concluded that there were no enforcement measure they could take. If residents were still concerned, the local management companies for the properties should be approached.

Port Moresby Place (Site 8): The contractors had recently finished the railings but they still needed painting. The whole area was now looking much better but there was tidying up of weeds and general rubbish left by the contractor. The contractors were responsible for this.

Macauley Place (Site 7c): The planning permission for Macauley Place included a “public open space”. This was meant to be completed when 60% of the dwellings were sold. This was still a long way off as there were over 70 dwellings but experience with other developments meant that residents were concerned that they would struggle to ensure this would be completed. It was pointed out that there was no commitment to a “play area” i.e. providing play equipment, but the devolved budget of £10,000 might go some way to the paying for this. However, play equipment was very expensive and other sources of funding would need to be found. SHRA and Councillors would keep an on eye on the sales so they could make sure that the commitment to the open space was fulfilled.

Prom Parking: SHRA objected to cars being parked on the beach near the SW Treatment Works. This was possible because the post on the slope up from the waterworks roundabout which would have prevented access seemed to be broken. Council officers had told SHRA that this was beyond repair and insertion of a new post would have to wait until finances were available. In the meantime, parking wardens would warn people that they should not be parking there and if they continued doing so, a penalty notice would be issued. SHRA argued for a much more prominent notice to make it clear that parking was prohibited.

Since the meeting with councillors, the post has been reinstated and warning notices have been put up. However, they didn't prevent parked cars blocking the Dotto train's access during the Bank Holiday weekend.

Fisherman’s Quay: Residents were interested to know when this would be completed as they are supportive of the project. Councillors had no further information. SHRA agreed to contact the fishermans' Community Interest Company (CIC) and ask if they could help in any way to bring the project to completion.

Weeding - the change of EBC's contractor earlier this year appears to have brought about positive improvements, with many paths being weeded and cleared of litter.

Follow Up Meetings. SHRA and the councillors agreed to meet regularly in future. SHRA is alo arranging regular meetings with the marina manager.

31 August - Community Centre Update - from our local councillors. Final touches are being carried out this week on fences & waste storage areas with a deep clean set for Monday (2nd Sept). The question of the building’s energy performance certificate is still pending. Wi-Fi is with the Wave Leisure manager. Awaiting a decision (mid October) on additional funding for a changing places facility. Works on target. An inspction event will take place on Saturday 7th September. This is ahead of the community Grand Opening being planned for later by Wave Leisure. Our Community Centre page >

9 Aug - Beachy Head East Marine Control Zone (MCZ) - In March this year the government designated an area from Beachy to Hastings as a Marine Control Zone - www.sussex-ifca.gov.uk/beachy-head-east-mcz. Marine Control Zones are similar to nature reserves for the sea where the aim is conserve the sea bed and prevent over fishing – so some activities are restricted. There are many MCZ round the world and now many off the coast of the UK. The best known one for the UK is Lundy Island where the designation of MCZ is thought to have increased fish stocks and the diversity marine life. However, Lundy is managed as a “no take” zone ie no fishing but in other MCZ sustainable fishing is allowed. The sites are managed by DEFRA in consultation with “local stakeholders”.

The website notes that the site contains two marine Sites of Nature Conservation Importance (mSNCIs); the Royal Sovereign Shoals and the Horse of Willingdon Reef. Two protected wrecks are also incorporated in the site; Norman’s Bay and the Amsterdam. A diverse mixture of marine species are found at Beachy Head East, including sponges, anemones, sea squirts, erect bryozoans, encrustations of ross coral and starfish. Some of the best blue mussel beds in the region are contained within the site. The diverse habitats provide important feeding grounds for many fish species, including short-snouted seahorses, black seabream, native oysters and European eel. It is believed that herring spawn on the gravel beds in the early spring.

08 August - Water Treatment Works - Update from Southern Water. "As is normal practice, the works' operations team have been preparing for the poor weather that's forecast for tonight (8 August 2019) and onwards into the weekend.

As part of our management plan for this period, from midnight tonight (at the earliest) until 8am on Friday morning, we will be running a number of temporary generators that are on site. This is to make sure the works' storm-water pumps have a source of power to enable them to deal with high flows due to heavy rainfall, should there be a power outage, as there was the weekend before last.

The same arrangement with the generators is also likely to be in place for Friday night into Saturday. It is important to note that the above measure is purely precautionary, with the generators that will be 'live' located within the walls of the works' above ground compound, helping to minimise any noise. Of course, we would like to apologise for any inconvenience that may be caused to local residents, as well as thank them for their patience and understanding."
Southern Water www.southernwater.co.uk

2 July - Harbour WI publish the note of their July meeting. Click here to read it....

18 July - Litter, Weeds and Rubbish - There has been a change to the contractor engaged by EBC for street cleaning and weeding services and rubbish collection. Kier have been replaced by South East Environmental Services Limited (SEESL). Further details can be viewed on the Sovereign Harbour Neighbourhood Panel website...

18 July - Communal letter box area thefts - There are reports of scumbags breaking into letterboxes during the afternoon to retrieve bank cards they have fraudulently applied for using a Sovereign Harbour address. Immediately report the receipt of any unapplied for bank or credit card account details to the bank concerned. If you find your letterbox forced open, report it to the block's management company and the police. Letterboxes with broken locks are more likely to be utilised, and the owner may never know; so if your letterbox has a broken lock get the management company to fix it pronto, or get it done yourself by contacting a locksmith. Make sure you don't allow people in to your apartment block if you don't know them.

01 July - Asda Petrol Station closed for three months - the petrol station has closed for a major refurbishment and the addition of a self-service car jet wash. Scheduled to re-open Monday 23 September.Click here to view plan of new layout...

28 June - Good-bye Royal Sovereign Lighthouse - Trinity House has commenced a project to decommission Royal Sovereign Lighthouse at the end of its serviceable life. It is the intention that the now-deteriorating lighthouse will be completely removed clear to the seabed. This has necessitated that local icon Beachy Head Lighthouse be upgraded to ensure the safety of the mariner in those waters. Read more here... www.trinityhouse.co.uk/news/royal-sovereign-lighthouse-to-be-decommissioned

26 June - Free TV licences for over 75s - Age Concern are asking you to write to Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt to demand that they honour the 2017 Conservative Manifesto commitment to fund free TV licences for over 75s until 2022. It could make the difference to whether older people are able to watch TV. It's very easy to do, all you need to do is click on this link https://campaigns.ageuk.org.uk/ - and follow the steps.

25 June - Southern Water fined £126m - Southern Water has been hit with a record £126m punishment for spills of wastewater into the environment from its sewage plants and for deliberately misreporting its performance. The penalty will see customers get a rebate of at least £61 each. BBC News report....

24 June - The Age Concern Shed Project - Have you heard about the Eastbourne Shed Project? Age Concern Eastbourne now have three ‘Sheds’ across the town. 'Sheds’ are workshop type spaces where people can meet, chat and enjoy the company of others whilst getting involved in personal or shared ‘make and mend’ projects. The Eastbourne Shed is in Fort Lane. The Langney Shed is based at the beautiful Langney Priory, and The Hampden Park Shed is in the Brassey Parade shops near Hampden Park station. Click here for an information sheet giving more details...

30 May - Slips cause majority of coast water deaths, RNLI warns - Take Care -More than half of coastal deaths in the UK last year were caused by people tripping and falling into the sea, the RNLI has warned. Figures show 128 people died in the UK's coastal waters in 2018 - 115 of them men - with the majority falling in while out running or walking. About 55% of those were people who "ended up in the water unexpectedly", an RNLI spokesman said. Read more about this including advice on the BBC News site. www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-48443755


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